Sanwo-Olu has set up a political structure to win the hearts of voters across the length and breadth of Lagos State ahead of the APC primaries.
Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu
The unfolding move to oust Governor Akinwunmi Ambode from political relevance in Lagos State went a step further yesterday after his key rival, for the All Progressives Congress, APC governorship ticket, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu set up a campaign structure to accentuate his ambition.
The move came in the light of disclosures that APC national leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was under tremendous pressure from his political base not to support a second term for Governor Ambode.
The pressure on Tinubu from his political base came as a faction of the APC in the state, some monarchs, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP rallied to the side of the embattled governor of the nation’s commercial nerve centre.
Even more, a group of 50 opposition political parties operating in cahoots with some activists under the aegis of Lagos Democracy Advancement Forces said the evolving crisis in the APC was a golden opportunity for the state to be liberated from the apron strings of Asiwaju Tinubu.
Mr. Jide Sanwo-Olu, the choice of Tinubu’s supporters in anticipation of glory yesterday promised to reveal himself soon as he urged the political base not to be distracted by rumours and insinuations on his objectives.
A statement issued by the Sanwo-Olu Campaign its Director-General, Hon. Tayo Ayinde, last night announced the appointment of a 21-man campaign committee including three senatorial coordinators.
Among those named yesterday, as members of the committee, were the Deputy Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni (Director of Research and Intelligence), Majority Leader, Senai Agunbiade, (Director of Legal) and Chairman of Agege Local Government, Mr. Kola Egunjobi, who is to coordinate Non-governmental Organisations, NGOs, civil society and students.
The senatorial coordinators appointed were Hon. Rasak Ajala (West), Hon. Wahab King (Central) and Mayor Dele Oshinowo (East).
Also among the campaign directors appointed yesterday were Alhaji Abdullahi Eniloobo (Mobilisation), Hon. Sesan Dani (Media and Publcity) and Hon. Bolanle Akinyemi-Obe (Women Affairs.)
Ambode’s travails beyond Tinubu
Sources privy to the developments that had pitched Ambode against his benefactor, Tinubu, Vanguard learnt were deeper than imagined and appeared to many as they said that it was beyond Tinubu.
“This is not a Tinubu matter as many are saying, it is more than Asiwaju,” the source revealed as he noted that Ambode was in a battle with the political base as symbolised by Tinubu.
“Tinubu is just a figurehead in this battle and is almost a prisoner in this battle between the troops and Ambode,” the source revealed.
Among the charges levelled against Ambode included aloofness from the party and his deliberate refusal to service the political structure as erected by Tinubu.
“As a major stakeholder I could call Asiwaju as governor, I could approach Fashola, and if I sent him a text he would reply, but Ambode I don’t have his number, and he is unapproachable.”
Another source said, “yes it could be true that Asiwaju has his issues with him, but I can tell you that Ambode’s problem is with the party. If Asiwaju can manage him, definitely we cannot manage him,” another source said yesterday.
Vanguard gathered yesterday that on account of the austere disposal of the governor towards his commissioners that some members of the cabinet who had seen their time in the cabinet as not profitable were planning to exit to contest for state and National Assembly elections.
“You can see that staying in the cabinet is not a guarantee for emotional or material stability. Tinubu never dissolved his cabinet, Fashola did his commissioners well, but it is not so with our oga.
“I can tell you that up to eight members of the cabinet are preparing to leave the cabinet for other political aspirations,” a member of the state’s cabinet revealed yesterday.
Ambode returns toGovt House, meets monarchs; Oba of Lagos absent
The embattled governor was, however, yet unmoving as he changed his mind and relocated from his Epe base to the State House, Ikeja from where he and some aides coordinated a charm offensive to woo back support.
Among those, the governor interacted with yesterday were some traditional rulers who met with him in a closed-door meeting.
The monarchs, it was learned, had gathered at T-Block at Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja specifically to discuss issues that had enveloped the political atmosphere in the state.
Following that meeting, the monarchs proceeded to the State House. As at press time last night there were yet conflicting indications as to whether the governor personally interfaced with them.
The Oba of Lagos Oba Rilwan Akiolu was not among those in the delegation of the monarchs.
Vanguard gathered yesterday that insinuations that the monarch was among those pleading for the governor might be far-fetched.
“Those saying so do not know the relationship between the Oba and Jide Sanwo-Olu who is his relation,” one source said.